We have all heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." However, we need the village not just at the beginning of life, but in our years as well. The National Institutes of Health estimates that nearly 14% of all Americans over the age of 71 have or will have some form of dementia. And families cannot and should not face the accompanying challenges alone.
Dementia is a gradual process that might not even be apparent in its earliest stage. Symptoms of mild dementia might include:
losing interest in hobbies or activities, being unwilling to try new things, or being generally apathetic
demonstrating poor judgment or poor decisions
being slower to grasp complexities
blaming others for "stealing lost items" or misplacing important objects
showing less concern for others and being more self-centered
becoming forgetful of details of recent events, of people's names, of places
repeating or losing the thread of a conversation
having difficulty handling money
becoming more irritable or angry
An individual entering the moderate stage of dementia may have the following symptoms:
being able to remember the distant past more than recent events
becoming confused about time and place
forgetting the names of family members, good friends, or confusing them
wandering or behaving inappropriately (wearing pajamas outdoors, for instance)
forgetting about a lit burner on the stove
hearing or seeing things that aren't there
neglecting hygiene or eating
becoming upset, angry, and frustrated
Among Friends provides respite for loved ones with dementia as well as for their caregivers. We provide a safe environment where those in the early and moderate stages of dementia can have fun while engaging in meaningful activities that help to slow cognitive decline while giving caregivers a little time to themselves to reenergize or relax.
Whether we are learning how to make a drum that we will later play or designing and making a quilt or creating an apple crumble or participating in chair yoga, our participants are engaged in the moment and with others. For a few hours every Tuesday, the village is caring for its own.
Call us or email us if your loved one would like to join us or if you would like to become a volunteer.